Wayne Bews gets to work next week in his new role as general manager of 92.5 The Beat FM and I wish him the best of luck. This gentleman of gentlemen has a lifetime of radio experience and for more on that you can see the blog I filed on him here last October when he moved from TSN 690 to CTV Montreal as Regional Sales Manager.
I can honestly say that in my many years of covering the media, I have never met a finer human being in the business than Bews. He was the rock that kept THE TEAM 990/TSN 990/TSN 690 afloat despite having the odds stacked against him. When Bell Media completed its takeover of CJAD, Virgin Radio and CHOM FM, Bews was pointed towards CTV Montreal, with Martin Spaulding becoming the natural point man to run the operation. But did they make a mistake by not keeping Bews on the radio side?
|Wayne Bews (left) , shown here with Randy Tieman.|
Bews and I will talk once he settles in at The Beat. He is still a Bell Media employee and therefore does not want to speculate in the many decisions he will have to make. At The Beat, he inherits a pretty good property. His predecessor Mark Dickie pulled off a gutsy move by switching the Q92 FM light rock format to more of a top 40 routine and flashier name as The Beat. The station has been competing directly with Virgin Radio. In fact, they pulled away the likes of Cat Spencer, Cousin Vinny and Nat Lauzon from Virgin. Cat and Sarah Bartok do a great morning show. Ditto for Vinny on the Drive and Lauzon on weekends.
So what advice will I have for Bews when we sit down? Tops on my list would be to bring his old friend Ted Bird back on to mainstream radio. Bird, of course, walked away from the CHOM FM morning show a number of years ago. He resurfaced on K103 FM until Bews hired him to join Elliott Price and Shaun Starr on the TSN 690 morning show. The moment the Bell Media takeover was in place, Bird's former employers (presumably Spaulding) gave him the axe. He is now part of KIC Country 89.9 in Kahnawake, a station I can still not get on any of my dials. I am a huge Ted Bird fan. There are many of us in that boat. Can a place be found for him on The Beat? Handling news and sports in the mornings would be a good fit.
Bews will be busy from the get go. He needs to hire new program and promotional directors. Will there be format changes? Only time will tell.